As I entered my sales career over seventeen years ago, I was told my “gift of gab” would be of great benefit. There is some truth in that for sure. Being comfortable talking to anyone, about almost anything, has taken me a long way in building relationships with clients and colleagues. But what happens when our “gift of gab” turns into “death by babbling?”
We have all sat in on a meeting, or been sold to by someone else, where the person speaking talked and talked until our ears bled (not really, but close). Typically, babbling happens as a result of said person lacking in educated information to share. They default to what they are comfortable talking about, which usually includes how great they and/or their offerings are, whether it is relevant to us or not. This just isn’t the way we want to present ourselves in front of prospects and clients. So what can we do?
- Study your business, it’s offerings, and it’s value to others – I have sat down with many a sales people who have a hard time articulating what it is they do, and how it benefits their clients. If this is you, you need to take a step back. Study your business. Understand in depth what it is you do and why you do it. Study each of your products and/or services. Know their positives and their negatives. Study the value you bring to the customer. This must measurable and credible, so think hard before you just throw numbers around.
- Study your prospects and clients – There is nothing worse than sitting down with someone who is going to attempt to sell me their offerings, and they aren’t clear on what it is I do. You should know your prospects and clients very well. Jump on the internet and do as much research as possible. What do they offer? Why do they offer it? Who do they offer it to? Taking this time before your meeting will save you a lot of potential embarressment during the meeting, and could save you many more discovery meetings with the same person down the line.
- Write out an outline for your meeting – You do not have to memorize what it is you are going to say during a meeting. Write an outline including your overall goal for the meeting, questions you want to make sure you ask, possible objections to your offerings, and notes about your prospect. Use it as a reference and check things off as you go, so you don’t miss a thing and improve your chances of advancing the sale.
- Record your meetings and listen back – This is great, especially if you are newer in sales or in need of improvement in presenting yourself. Listen back to yourself after the meeting study what it is the prospect said, what you said, what was responded to well, and what wasn’t. This will help you to deliver even better the next time around. Don’t feel awkward about this because it’s a great learning tool. Just make sure you ask permission of whomever you are meeting with.
The ultimate goal in all of this is to make the most of every sales call you make. Sometimes, you only get one shot and making a great impression. By doing work ahead of time, and continually studying your methods and messages, you will become more effective in closing deals. The last thing you want to die a death by babbling.
Want to practice? Pick up the phone and call me. Try and sell me whatever you have to offer, and I will provide a free evaluation at no charge.
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